Thursday, November 11, 2010

The art of saying goodbye

Saying goodbye is an art I think I'm always learning, and still trying to exercise well. I recently took the time to find a way to say goodbye to colleagues in the South Central Synod of Wisconsin, and this is the letter. Maybe it will be of service to others trying to find the words to say goodbye, and I welcome comments on the ministry of farewell and godspeed. 

Dear colleagues in ministry,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been an honor and a privilege to be partners in ministry in the gospel of Jesus Christ over these past eight years that we have been in the South Central Synod of Wisconsin. I have consistently looked forward to being present with you at synod assemblies, clergy gatherings, and joint ministry opportunities of the synod. Thank you.

I have often been proud to tell others outside of our synod about our cooperative ministries. I have encountered many vibrant faith communities and social service organizations. This is a unique and beautiful part of God's world. We are blessed.

As we soon travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for a call at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in the Arkansas-Oklahoma synod, please know that we will keep you and your ministries in our prayers. Especially we will pray, in these days of change and transition, that all of us will trust in the ever creating power of God the Father, the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, and the enlivening and energizing presence of the Spirit. Trust the Holy Spirit to lead and strengthen your ministries. 

I would like to especially encourage this synod to continue to support through welcome committees and other means the work of LSS Refugee Resettlement. Iraqi and Bhutanese refugees will continue to arrive over these next few years, and work with LSS is a potentially enriching opportunity for all our congregations to serve in God's mission. Please put it on the agenda of your next council meeting, evangelism or social ministry committee, and begin forming a group that will work with and get to know a newly arrived refugee family. Call the synod office to learn how you can serve on the newly formed immigration and refugee task force.

God bless you in your ministries. God is faithful.


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